Family trip safety - L.A.

Old Jul 9th, 2003, 04:07 AM
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Family trip safety - L.A.

Where are the areas we want to avoid? Is Hollywood unsafe after dark? Are all the beach communities ok?

We've traveled in large cities before(D.C., Seattle, Atlanta, Miami, etc.) so we know that all major destinations have parts of town folks unfamiliar with the place should avoid. Thanks for your advice in advance.

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Old Jul 9th, 2003, 09:15 AM
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Here is a general rule of thumb for areas that a tourist should avoid:

Take out an LA city map. Start at the intersection of the 10 and 405, in West LA. From this point, draw a line down along the 405 until it hits the 710. Then, continue the line up the 710, merging with the 5, and up into downtown LA. Then, continue the line from downtown LA along the 10 towards the west, until it hits the 405 where you started. The line you drew encircles (with a few exceptions) the areas that might be best left to the locals to navigate.
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Old Jul 9th, 2003, 01:35 PM
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Hollywood is safe and so are the beach cities. Stay away from South Central or East LA and you should be fine. Most tourist destinations are in the beach areas (Santa Monica, Venice, etc. or in Orange County Laguna Beach, Newport Beach), Hollywood, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, West LA or downtown LA. Any of these places are fine. I live in LA so I should know.
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Old Jul 10th, 2003, 06:41 AM
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Blenroth... I love your simple way to figure this out.
I think that the rental car companies should highlight this area (like that would ever happen!)
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Old Jul 10th, 2003, 09:38 PM
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You know, I've lived in L.A. practically forever, and Blenroth's response was a new (and surprisingly correct) one for me. I actually had to go on mapquest to picture it. I will say that the Palms area and Westside Village (as opposed to Westwood Village) and portions of Culver City, all just south of the 10 and east of the 405, are just fine. On the other hand, there are certain parts of Hollywood (particularly smaller streets and alleys) and, in my opinion, anywhere on Western Ave. are not places that I would be walking alone at night. But in a group, other than the alleys, you should be fine.
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Old Jul 11th, 2003, 06:00 AM
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TX Travel Pro - funny you should mention the car rental companies doing that... I heard on the radio the other day that a man is suing one of the rental companies (Alamo?) because they did not warn his wife to avoid a certain area of miami (?). Apparently she (and perhaps another?) were murdered when they ventured into the "wrong part of town".

Now, what do you think would happen if rental car companies started telling people to AVOID certain areas and the business owners, etc. got wind of it? I"m guessing they would be sued.

Looks like a no-win situation.
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Old Jul 11th, 2003, 07:09 AM
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Blenroth's method is indeed accurate in general, although as surfergirl notes, pockets of safe areas exist in the "avoid" area.

The city in which I live, Long Beach, has a mixed reputation, with certain VERY rough neighborhoods and other VERY ritzy neighborhoods, some basically next-door to each other. The rule here? Stay in the "coastal" area below Seventh Street (a main east-west road), and you're basically fine. Many will say to just stay out of LB, but then you miss a charmingly gritty city with some points of interest (Queen Mary, Aquarium of the Pacific, etc.).
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Old Jul 11th, 2003, 08:44 AM
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When in LA, I found ALL areas to be safe if you are in a car. The danger places are not so dangerous. Many of the touristy places are fine. Hollywood is a bit seedy. Tourists viewpoint of Hollywood is actually found in Beverly Hills.

Some areas of the San Fernando Valley are nice (like Sherman Oaks). Others are just passable, like Studio City.

Some areas in the center part of the map are fine, like Palms, restaurant row around LaCienega Ave., and where the skyscrapers are in downtown and Century City.

Most of Pasadena is fine, some very nice, but east Pasadena is a little dingy. Further east is Arcadia, which has nice homes (but not mansions).

Gritty areas include Ingleside, South Central, and others but the chance of murder is low.
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Old Jul 11th, 2003, 11:19 AM
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Others have mentioned where to avoid. Hollywood can be very safe if you are where other tourists are. Be prepared to use valet and fee-based parking. In Hollywood, it doesn't "pay" to be cheap. Hollywood and Highland, the big theater/retail establishment is proving to be popular. "The Producers" is playing right on the boulevard in Hollywood. Of course, you'll want to visit the foot prints and stars along the way, but that's better done in daylight for photo ops, etc.

As long as you stick to the landmark destinations, big streets, regular hours (before midnight, I'd say) you will be fine. Beach communities are not immune from crime. Even right next to a posh Santa Monica hotel a German tourist was killed a few years ago. It was a horrible thing but so unusual I don't think you can judge by that. Enjoy your trip; I'd suggest LA is like every other city you mention for good parts/bad parts and the need to stay on your toes and use good sense.

Have a wonderful time!
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Old Jul 11th, 2003, 04:06 PM
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Studio City is "passable"?

I have to giggle at that. I've lived in S.C. since 1977 and can tell you that you have nothing to be afraid of in S.C.

There are some areas on Ventura Blvd. south of Cahuenga that have commercial businesses & some gay bars, but again, it's not dangerous by any stretch of the imagination!

It's a great place to live!
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